When Curiosity was born: a peek at Mars rover during construction at JPL, one year ago


In April, 2011, the engineers at JPL gave Boing Boing permission to visit the clean room where the next Mars rover, Curiosity, had just been completed, for an exclusive first look.

Photographer Joseph Linaschke made the trek (and donned the bunny suit) on our behalf, and brought back breathtaking photos of the magnificent martian machine.

The full Boing Boing photo gallery is here, with caption assist from JPL.

Above, the Mars Science Laboratory's descent stage, which files the rover down to Mars' surface using eight rockets, and lowers it on a tether for landing. The orange spheres are propellant tanks.

Here's a roundup of ways to watch, as Curiosity attempts landing the night of Aug 5 (that's tomorrow).

* There are even more images on Joseph's site (pssst: news orgs, they're available for licensing, ask him.)


  1. It’s a bit startling to see Sharpie writing on flight hardware, but I guess standards have been lowered in the last ten years. 

  2. Pedant:  “…which files the rover down…”

    I’m sure the orbital mechanics drove the timing of this event, or they wouldn’t have put it so close to the Olympics.

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